Deadliest Roads | Ladakh: Hell Beneath the Wheels

Aug 22, 2023 | Environmental, People, Social, Videos

Ladakh, the most northern state of India, is famous for its unique yet challenging landscape where the confluence of its breathtaking mountains and valleys is the source of an alluring, unrefined beauty. At 5000 meters altitude, Ladakh is one of the harshest environments in the world that faces frigid temperatures, dangerous roads, and several challenges that often lead to a bleak life for its residents.
Sitting high up in the mountains, Ladakh is a place where a few people and their livestock are still persevering with a traditional way of life. The Changpa Nomads are one such group who are a part of the nomadic community that moves from one place to another, constantly looking for food for their herds. Sadly, the number of Changpa Nomads is decreasing, with younger clan members leaving the mountain for a better chance in towns below.
In Ladakh, following Tibetan Buddhism is a way of life for a majority of its people. This religion has played an essential role in shaping Ladakh’s culture, traditions, and the way of living that makes it unique. If you want to experience and learn about this culture and its traditions in depth, the documentary “Life on the Edge: Ladakh” is an excellent watch.
The documentary follows the life of a Buddhist monk named Tenzin as he walks 3000km to reunite with his Monastery. Although he is on a spiritual journey, his survival depends on the villagers’ hospitality he encounters during his travels.
The documentary further delves into the lives of people living in the perilous and mountainous terrains of Ladakh. It focuses on the challenges faced by Adjay and his mechanic Ali as they transport tar from Ladakh to the rest of India. They face icy and severely damaged roads, torrential rain, muddy traps, and extreme fatigue several days a week for just 160 euros a month.
The documentary sheds light on Ladakh and its inhabitants’ struggles, their resilience, their culture, and the Tibetan Buddhism that influences them. An excellent vehicle to learn about an unknown part of India, Life on the Edge: Ladakh is an insightful documentary that you should watch to gain a better understanding of this beautiful and remote part of the world.

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David B